Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Conference Tourney Preview Part. II

MVC
This is easily the biggest mid-major conference tournament and maybe the biggest overall in terms of at-large bids. Only Wichita St. and possibly Creighton can feel 100% safe at this point so N. Iowa, S. Illinois, Missouri St., and Bradley all need at least 1 win to help themselves out. Ultimately I think the conference will get 5 bids. Southern Illinois plays host for the tourney so that should be could enough for a win or two. They play the winner of Evansville/Illinois St. and that is obviously a game that they have to have. If they can get by either Missouri St. or Northern Iowa in the semis it should be enough. The biggest matchup will probably be between Northern Iowa and Missouri St. The Panthers are in a huge slide, while the Bears are the hottest team in the MVC. Both teams will probably get in, but neither can feel secure.

Tourney winner- Southern Illinois over Wichita St.
At-large bids- Wichita St., Creighton, Northern Iowa, Missouri St.
Bubble burst- Bradley

CAA
This is another conference that figures to get multiple bids. There are 5 teams that can win this tournament. VCU is the host school, but doesn’t get a first round bye like the other 4 teams which should hurt them as they advance since there aren’t any off days. VCU will get by Hofstra but lose to George Mason in the semis. UNC Wilmington probably needs to get to the finals to have a good shot at an at-large and they probably will. The final will be Wilmington and George Mason.

Tourney winner- Wilmington
At-large bids- George Mason
Bubble burst- Hofstra

Patriot
Every bubble team will be rooting for Bucknell here as the Bison may take an at-large spot away from a bubble team in case of a loss. It will be a Bucknell-Holy Cross rematch in the finals where Bucknell beat Holy Cross at Holy Cross last year to get the auto bid. Holy Cross won’t be returning the favor.

Tourney winner- Bucknell

OVC
Murray St. dominated this conference by 3 games. Murray St. is going to the Big Dance.

Tourney winner- Murray St.

America East
Vermont and Boston U will likely be sitting on the sidelines this year as another team will be getting the automatic bid. Albany might have to face New Hampshire in the second round which swept the Great Danes in the regular season. Binghamton is the host of the tournament where they went 6-2 in conference play.

Tourney winner- Binghamton

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